"Fantastic. Ex-Minister Not Traceable": Supreme Court Raps Bihar

In the Bihar shelter home rape cases, the Supreme Court asks the state police chief to explain why an ex-minister is not arrested

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New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Warrant against ex-minister issued for a case under the Arms Act
  2. Manju Verma had resigned as the Social Welfare Minister
  3. Supreme Court has set November 27 as the next date for hearing

The Supreme Court on Monday ripped into the Bihar government and asked the two top most officers of the state, to explain why a former minister, Manju Verma, linked with the shelter home sex abuse cases, has not yet been traced and arrested.

"Fantastic... ex-cabinet minister is not traceable... You (Bihar government) will have to explain...How is it that no one knows where the ex-minister is?," said the top court.

The Supreme Court said that the Bihar police chief has to be present in court on November 27 and explain, if Manju Verma is not traceable by then.

The top court has also summoned the Chief Secretary and asked him to personally explain "why action was not taken against 14 other shelter homes, against which, cases of torture and sexual abuse of girls, were reported by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences."

On November 1, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Ms Verma, after the Supreme Court hauled up the Bihar government and on three successive days said - why wasn't she arrested, is the former minister above the law, and is something wrong with the Bihar government.

The warrant, against the former minister, was issued for a case under the Arms Act. In August, the police had raided Ms Verma in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes and seized 50 live cartridges from one of her houses.

Ms Verma had resigned as the Social Welfare Minister of Bihar in August after her husband, Chandrashekhar Verma, came under fire for allegedly visiting the Muzaffarpur shelter home several times. Mr Verma, a close aide of the key accused Brajesh Sharma has surrendered.

Over 40 young girls were sexually abused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home. The sexual exploitation of the girls was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) to the state's social welfare department in April. The first case was filed on May 31 against 11 people, including Brajesh Thakur.



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